Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and business-to-business (B2B) are the dominant themes in the final shortlist to Microsoft's tenth accelerator batch, with all the 14 startups selected for the programme having at least one of these elements as their product offerings.
The startups were chosen on the basis of three parameters: how deep the technology associated with their products is; the level of traction; and if the startups were founded by successful professionals and serial entrepreneurs with domain expertise, a statement from Microsoft said.
Seven of the shortlisted startups are series-stage mature businesses, currently at an average annual revenue rate of $1.5 million (Rs 10 crore) and average funding of $3.2 million (over Rs 21 crore). The seed-stage companies selected have an average annual revenue rate of $200,000 (Rs 1.33 crore), and average secured funding of $1.5 million (Rs 10 crore).
The cohort of startups was selected from portfolios of several venture capital firms, including Inventus Capital Partners, Ideaspring Capital, Accel Partners, IDG Ventures and Pi Ventures.
The shortlisted startups will undergo an intensive programme at the Microsoft Accelerator in Bangalore to increase their enterprise readiness quotient. They will be using Microsoft's cloud offering Azure and leverage it for technologies like big data, internet of things (IoT) and advanced analytics, among others.
Here is a sneak peek at the 14 startups that made the cut.
Lavelle Networks: Founded in 2015, Bangalore-based Lavelle Networks builds enterprise data networking platforms that enable high-speed and safe consumption of cloud applications.
Acebot.ai: Founded in 2015, San Jose-based Acebot is an enterprise chatbot solution that leverages conversational user interface to enable collaboration, team productivity and data collation within any enterprise.
Zenatix: Founded in 2013, Gurgaon-based Zenatix is a data-driven energy efficiency company delivering up to 30% reduction in electricity consumption to retail chains and banks, using IoT and machine learning-based intelligent controls.
Active.ai: Founded in 2016, Bangalore-based Active.ai is a full-stack, enterprise AI platform that offers smart conversational banking for banks and financial services companies.
Heckyl: Founded in 2010, Mumbai-based Heckyl is a big data-based analytical platform for investors, traders and researchers in the financial industry.
Syscloud: Founded in 2010, NewYork-based Syscloud is a cloud security platform to detect and stop financial, customer, sales and IP data from insider theft, breaches and outside attacks.
Witty Parrot: Founded in 2012, Cupertino-, Singapore- and Bangalore-based Witty Parrot is a smart knowledge automation, collaboration and communication platform for sales, marketing, support and HR verticals.
FirstHive: Founded in 2009, Mumbai-based First Hive creates unique marketing identities from customer interactions across marketing channels, driving customer conversations and marketing return on investment.
Sigtuple: Founded in 2015, Bangalore-based Sigtuple provides machine-learning based solutions for detection of anomalies in medical testing and improves accuracy in disease diagnosis.
vPhrase: Founded in 2015, Mumbai-based vPhrase is an AI-based platform that makes complex data reports more readable by summarising data and analysis in words.
LetsTransport: Founded in 2015, Bangalore-based LetsTransport is a logistics tech startup that builds enterprise data networking platforms, which enable high-speed and safe consumption of cloud applications.
Tricog: Founded in 2015, Bangalore-based Tricog is an AI startup that connects heart patients with doctors.
QuestionPro: Founded in 2002, Seattle-based QuestionPro provides web-based survey software to analyse customer satisfaction, market research and employee satisfaction survey.
Karomi: Founded in 1999, Chennai-based Karomi manages compliance and speedy approval of packaging artworks for pharma and FMCG companies and helps get their products reach the market faster.